FIDEL: REQUIESCAT IN CACA
ON CAPITALIST “BLACK FRI-DAY”
WAS FÍDEL’S FINAL BREATH.
HE WAS A CRUMMY COMMIE,
EVEN UNTO DEATH.
HERE LIES THE BODY
OF UNCA FIDEL
WHEN THEY PUT HIM IN THE GROUND
HE WENT STRAIGHT TO HELL
WHEN HE GOT THERE,
THE DEVIL SAID “OH NO!”
…EVEN THE DEVIL
TOLD HIM WHERE TO GO.
–Q ~ Texas, 2016
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“CÚAB: A FRAME OF MIND” is about what happens when one ‘not-so-hot’ world view is defeated –at a certain time and place—by another one, more ruthless and intransigent. It is about a ‘frame’, as in a perspective or posture; but also a ‘framing’, as when something –or someone– is boxed in and cut off from everything. It is a ‘Ying and Yang’. It is something that deals with History in a specific circumstance, yet something that addresses the history of History –like a warped ‘Twilight Zone’.
“CÚAB: A FRAME OF MIND” addresses the dialogue in the world today, and shows the horrors that can happen by not coming up with the right answers. Then, it puts the ‘ball’ right in your ‘court’: …Because, “To witness a crime in silence, is to commit it…” [José Martí]
THE AUTHOR AND HIS STORY…
This is the story about what can happen to a country, when it succumbs to greed, selfishness, envy, corruption, hatred, and the ‘victim mentality’. The model is Cuba: an island-paradise, with rich, fertile lands and a year-round temperate climate. Its only problem: perpetually lousy governments –which indicates there may be some lousy traits in the society itself. But Cuba is not the issue here. It is not what happened in Cuba that is important*; it is what has happened in so many ‘Cubas’ before, and what will happen in so many ‘Cubas’ after. It is about what can happen to you –whatever you call your country: all it takes is for the right set of circumstances and attitudes to be present…
I started this book when I was seventeen. I am over four times that age now [damn!]. I have gotten back on and off the manuscript during all those years; but making a living and raising kids kept getting in the way. Now I feel it can wait no longer. An important side note however: I never changed the original writing by that ‘teenager’ who started the book (to whom this old man now can barely relate). So the first sections remain preserved in their original state –if perhaps a naïve one. This lends a certain perspective to the story, because that is the way a revolution often starts: with some naïve beliefs. Then, as it develops, it often becomes more bitter, more violent. And society, like the proverbial ‘frog’, does not usually feel ‘the water boiling’ –until too late.
As a writer who was born and raised in Cuba, I was faced with a tough dilemma: address the Past, which really needs to be revisited; the Present that very much needs to be analyzed, or the Future, which really needs to be faced. How to achieve all of these within the context of what happened to Cuba? And who really would give a shit after all these years?
Brain flash: Neutralize time, place and protagonists. There would no longer be a finite Cuba’. Now, there would be only a symbolic, cyclic ‘Cúab’ –which could exist anywhere, anytime. The capital, ‘Habana’ (Havana) would change to ‘Bahana’. Now, it could be anybody’s capital. Fidel Castro, Raúl Castro and Ché Guevara would become, respectively: Delfi Trocas, Rúla Trocas and Chico Vara. These guys are your not-so-friendly neighborhood dictators. What ‘the neighborhood’ decides to do about them, can now be addressed as a continuum of challenges –not as ‘missed opportunities’, ‘present debacles’ or ‘future issues’. (The names of some other main characters in the book also have symbolism or double meaning: this is for the reader to decipher and me to have enjoyed doing). The events happen, not according to a general Latin calendar, but via a Chinese-style chronology, where there are no progressively numbered years –only cyclical names of years. Why do this? Because: what happened in Cuba in the last many years may be old information, if dated; but it becomes very pertinent information, if cycled. Persons, dates and places, per se, are not important*: It’s what was said (and is still being said); and what was done (and is still being done) –that’s what’s crucial. The point is: that those trying to establish totalitarian dictatorships in other times and places (possibly yours?) will say and do many of the same things…
Insofar as the real, finite Cuba is concerned, only the Cuban youth can do anything about it now. But, regardless of whether or not young Cubans are going to involve themselves in the struggle for their motherland: they –as well as youth everywhere– desperately need to learn the lessons of the symbolic Cúab –and quickly. Because Cuban youth, and youth in general, are the target of Totalitarian Thinking –a little from the Right, but a whole hell of a lot from the Left.
*My apologies to the legion of nameless Cuban martyrs that have suffered imprisonment, beatings, tortures, rapes, maiming, insanity, and/or death at the hands of all the dictatorships prior; the Communist Totalitarian Regime at present; and possible (probable?) dictatorships to come: I’ve used your pain without giving you personal credit. But, then again: there are so many of you that I cannot keep track. I only hope I am sufficiently capable to depict (frame?) the gruesome portrait of your suffering –and that it somehow, sometime will be avenged.